Multi-state K-12 collaborative seeks proposals for OER

Request for developers to create free, openly-licensed mathematics and English language arts content aligned with state standards

OER-collaborativeThe K–12 OER Collaborative, an initiative led by a group of 11 states with the goal of creating comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources, is releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to create open educational resources (OER) supporting K–12 mathematics and English language arts. The resources will be designed to enable all students to master foundational skills and knowledge to achieve college and career readiness.

Studies of high performance school systems around the world show that the quality of teaching and learning improves when instructors are more deeply engaged in the creation and continuous improvement of the learning materials and assessments used in their classrooms. OER fully support that type of deep instructor engagement and the creation of educational communities of practice that support advanced professional development opportunities for teachers.

“This is a great project, for at least two reasons,” said Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. “First, it’s going to support local control by empowering districts to adapt the materials to their own community needs. Second, it’s a low-cost and high-quality way to help students meet our state’s learning standards.”

(Next page: Details on what the collaborative is seeking)

The K–12 OER Collaborative is supported with expertise from state content specialists, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Creative Commons, Lumen Learning, The Learning Accelerator (TLA), Achieve, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA), the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM).

Representatives from state education agencies in Utah, Washington, and Idaho were the initial steering committee members. Other states supporting the project include Arizona, California, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The effort will be funded by a public-private partnership to preserve local control of flexible, high-quality educational materials.

“I would have liked to have access to free, high quality, locally adaptive materials like these when I was a district superintendent,” said Rob Saxton, Oregon’s deputy superintendent of public instruction.

The K–12 OER Collaborative will be selecting up to eight contractors for the creation of full-course OER in the following areas:

  • K–2 English Language Arts/Literacy
  • 3–5 English Language Arts/Literacy
  • 6–8 English Language Arts/Literacy
  • 9–12 English Language Arts/Literacy
  • K–5 Mathematics
  • 6–8 Mathematics
  • 9–11 Mathematics – Integrated/International Pathway (Secondary Mathematics I, II, III)
  • 9–11 Mathematics – Traditional Pathway (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2)

The Collaborative is looking for successful contractors who will create OER that do the following:

  • provide a comprehensive set of instructional materials
  • align to the Common Core State Standards
  • follow the Publishers’ Criteria to ensure the development of aligned content
  • include strategies, activities, and resources that allow teachers to differentiate instruction
  • include an assessment suite, including performance tasks with student work examples, formative assessment guidance, unit-level summative assessments, and rubrics to help teachers understand and interpret student performance

All education resources created in response to this RFP must be released under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) version 4.0. The resources will be evaluated by teams of educators from the participating states according to a number of well-established rubrics.

Content developers interested in applying to become a K-12 OER Collaborative contractor must complete the “Letter of Intent” form here: http://goo.gl/forms/gohdUxE5Gw by January 9, 2015. Projects whose Letter of Intent meets the project criteria will receive a full proposal package via email.

For more information please contact Jennifer Wolfe from The Learning Accelerator at Jennifer.wolfe@learningaccelerator.org.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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